July 23, 2018


Matthew 22:34-40

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

—  Matthew 22:37

I like to ask students what they think Jesus means by “all your heart and . . . soul and . . . mind.” At first they usually look at me as if I have asked a really dumb question. Then their looks change while I sit there in silence, and they wonder where to start.

When Jesus was asked to iden­tify the greatest command­ment, he gave a very ­familiar answer. It was a part of Scrip­ture that most of his listeners would have known by heart (see Deut. 6:4-9). Some, though, might have been surprised to hear this described as “the greatest commandment.”

When you think about it, what does it mean to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? And how about the second greatest command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”? These cover everything in life, don’t they? And it is one thing to say them, but quite another to live them out.

Yet that’s what Jesus calls his followers to do: Love God with every part of your being, and love your neighbor. And living that out in every part of our lives—at work, at school, at the store, on the road, with family and friends, with neighbors and strangers—doesn’t have to be complicated. We can trust that God is with us every step of the way to help and guide us.

Do you hear Jesus’ call to live that way today—and every day?

Lord, help us to love you with every part of our being, and guide us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is director of faith formation at a church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, camping, and visiting national parks with his family.

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